The days of the AA
fleet having titles on their forward sections, "Super 80" and "757 Luxury Liner", were numbered when the 737-800s and 777-200s were delivered without titles.
I do think it makes sense to have some sort of aircraft type identification somewhere on the plane. A lot of airlines put "Boeing 747" forward of L5
, and it seems that a lot of Airbuses have "Airbus Industrie" near L1 and R1.
The reasons why Bob Crandell bought MD
-80s are twofold. First, AA
would have had a long wait to buy 737-200s back in the early 80s. Second, McD basically gave AA
the first 20 planes with the right to return the planes, no questions asked. It's called making money.
This was also back when airlines bought planes from several manufacturers, because airlines thought they would get better prices if the fleet didn't come from one company. Now, having planes from 1 manufacturer reduces training and maintenance costs.
replace the MD
-80 with 737s, most likely a combinations of -700s and -800s? Yes. Will it be soon? Probably not. But while the MD
-80 has been a very dependable aircraft, it does require C-Checks more frequently than the 727-200s. Even though the airframes, particularly the TWA MD
-80s, have a lot of flight time left, there will come a point when the increasing costs of maintaining an aging fleet will justify the expeditures for new 737s. Particalarly when AA
still has about 400 production slots with Boeing.
The one question that even pilots and F/As asked back in 1998 and 1999 was why the MD
-80 fleet got new interiors and upgraded seats, but no IFE. Considering the amount of long-haul flying that the MD
-80s did, it was assumed that IFE was a given. The reason is that the weight of the IFE system could not be justified. It meant reduced range or reduced cargo.